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Old 09-06-2006, 04:39 PM   #1
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Default Brew day from hell....AKA Lessons Learned

Well, last Friday morning I got up early to brew my Bathwater Blonde Ale. It was truly a brew day from hell, with many firsts.

It was my first time using the new turkey fryer, first time doing full boil, first time using a wort chiller, first time siphoning form the kettle to the fermenter and first time brewing my own recipe. Lots of learning experiences.

First off, I began with 6.25 gallons in my pot (8.5 gallon pot) to try to account for the boil off. Despite my best efforts to prevent a boil over, I had two. When I first added the DME, I lost a slight amount. WHen I added the first hops...wow. Big boil-over...and quick. Disaster number one. Had to re-light the burner...as it was soaked. WHat a mess. Got it re-lit and returned to boil. Things went fairly smooth after that. At 15min to go, I put my new home-made wort chiller in the boil. I made it using 25ft of 3/8 copper tubing with clear tubing hose clamped to the ends and connected to my garden hose.

At flameout, I fired up the garden hose and the chiller was leaking...spraying well water into the pot! Disaster number two. I shut it off and found the issue. The hose clamp had cut throught the tubing on the input side....damn! I grabbed my trusty but rusted screw driver and set to work...only to drop said rusty screw driver into the kettle. Disaster number three.

I gabbed another screw driver...fixed the clamp and turned on the chiller. Worked great...15 minutes to cool to 90F. Now in the past, doing 2~3 gallon boils I used to put a mesh screening bag in the fermentor and pour the whole kettle over, then remove the screen bag with the kettle trub. SInce this was a full boil, I decided to use my auto-siphon. Worked awesome...so much less trub in the fermentor.

Once it cooled to around 85F I pitched my starter (1/2 gallon) and prayed for the best...well water and rusty screw driver and all. I hooked up my blow off and left for the weekend. Starting gravity was 1.057....color was great (added the bulk of the extract at 40min in).

Came home monday night. Checked the fermenter. Smelled good. i sanitized my theif, popped the lid and checked the gravity. The krausen hadn't fallen, but she was down to 1.015. Color was a nice straw blonde. Hop aroma was very mild, but the flavor was perfect! great hop flavor from the mix. I am glad I mixed all three hops together. I gave the krausen a bit of a stir and popped the lid back on. Tommorow night I am gonna rack it to secondary and pitch my Porter on the yeast cake.

-Todd

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Old 09-06-2006, 05:19 PM   #2
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Wow...the things we put up with to brew delicious beer. Is this the Bathwater Blonde that you designed that label for? The one with the naked chick in the bath?

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:00 PM   #3
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The one and the same.

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:03 PM   #4
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sounds like my kinda day at times.. glad it turned out good for ya!

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:07 PM   #5
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Default Dress rehearsal

Sounds like it all worked out in the end. When I first started out doing AG, I would always do a dry run prior to my brew day in order to try and keep disaster's to a minimum until I got it all dialed in.

Consider doing a couple dry runs before your next batch, take notes and I bet you'll enjoy a smoother brew session

Prosit!

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:16 PM   #6
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I wouldn't worry about the screwdriver to much...vitamins for the yeaties! Yoru wort was probably hot enough to kill any nasties on it.

I bet it turns out good.

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:18 PM   #7
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I did a dry run on the chiller, but the tubes got so soft during the boil. I need to get higher temp rated tubes. I am gonna get them today before I brew my big porter tomorrow.

-Todd

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:19 PM   #8
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You might want to think about compression fittings and using a step-up fitting to attach a garden hose. Easy on, easy off and it attaches right to your hose outside.

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Primary:
doh!
Secondary:
Wasp Bitten IPA (a Walker-San clone);Cheesefood's Caramel Creme; Wee Heavy Scottish Ale;
Bottled/Conditioning:
Flyin' Hornet Pale Ale(Mirror Pond clone);Oktoberfest Ale
Drinking:
Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
On-deck:
Dead Guy clone
Planning:
Walker's Espresso Stout; BrewPastor's Bastard Lager
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But honey, how else am I going to get enough bottles for my next batch? *burp*...*fart*
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:27 PM   #9
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I did use a garden hose adapter, with a barbed fitting and a hose clamp. The problem is the thin walled clear tubing got so soft that it leaked where the clamp bit into it. I need to get some better tubing.

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Old 09-06-2006, 09:56 PM   #10
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Blondes are nothing but trouble, but it sounds like you got a fast one.

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